They came to lend a hand but left with great memories of the Jersey Shore, Sandy Hook and the work being done by the American Littoral Society.
On Saturday, May 21, AmeriCorps Team Wave 5 (one unit from the partnership between AmeriCorps and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)) joined staff from the Littoral Society and community volunteers for a work day at our Slade Dale Sanctuary restoration site. They helped refill the breakwaters with recycled Christmas trees collected by Lacey Township.
Known as branchbox breakwaters, these wooden structures are designed to control erosion at the site by slowing currents and waves, as well as capture the sediment being carried in the water. The Slade Dale Sanctuary shoreline has eroded approximately 600 over the past century, endangering the protected pine-oak forest, hardwood swamp, and salt marsh, which provides a nursery for fish, a foraging site for other creatures, and storm protection for the surrounding community.
Following the work day, the AmeriCorps team joined Lindsay McNamara, the Littoral Society's Director of Development and resident bird nerd, for a tour of Sandy Hook. Team 5 member Edward Lewis sent us the following note as the group prepared to depart from New Jersey:
AmeriCorps Team Wave 5 is leaving New Jersey soon and we would like to thank you and the Littoral Society at large for collaborating with us! Our work together during the Slade Dale Volunteer Day was the highlight of our deployment – though several team members may say that the Sandy Hook Bird Tour was better. Regardless nothing else we did during our time here is even comparable to the memories we made trudging through the mud, water and sand with you and your colleagues.
As the great philosopher Celine Dion once said “Goodbye is the Saddest Word”. But it's true, we will absolutely look back on the things we did fondly. We are going to try our best to talk to the AmeriCorps administration on your behalf and we are really hoping that they will send future teams your way: you deserve all the help you can get.
Many of us are hoping to visit you once we get a chance in the future (that Sandy Hook Halloween tour sounds awesome)!
Keep up the good work Littoral Society!
The Littoral Society can only respond: Backatcha, Wave 5. Many thanks for the time you spent with us and your service to the country. Keep up the good work and hope to see you all again.
AmeriCorps is a national service program for young adults who want a hands-on service experience working to meet a variety of community needs. The organization engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps Seniors, the Volunteer Generation Fund, FEMACorps, and other national service initiatives. The agency's mission is "to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering."
The Slade Dale marsh restoration project is generously supported by US Fish & Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Borough of Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Rotary Club, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, Lacey Township, and Bill Borowsky owner of Nature’s Reward Farm Market.